Herb: Sweet Pepper Bush

Latin name: Clethra alnifolia

Family: Clethraceae (Sweet-pepperbush Family)

Description of the plant:


2.5 m
(8 1/4 foot)

August to


Habitat of Sweet Pepper Bush:

Swamps, damp thickets and sandy woods.

Other uses of the herb:

The stalk of the blossom is used as a soap substitute. The plants tolerate clipping and make an attractive informal hedge.

Propagation of Sweet Pepper Bush:

Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse. Only just cover the seed and keep the pot moist. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 3 months at 13C. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out once they are more than 20cm tall in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Very easy. Root cuttings in December/January. Suckers in the dormant season. They can be planted out direct into their permanent positions if required. Layering of current years growth in late autumn. Takes 18 months. Can also be done in early spring.

Cultivation of the herb:

Swamps, damp thickets and sandy woods.

Medicinal use of Sweet Pepper Bush:

None known

Known hazards of Clethra alnifolia:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.